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South Africa abuse makes me laugh, says Pietersen

PANTOMIME season is upon us &ndash; and England batsman Kevin Pietersen insists he is happy to play the role of villain for South Africa fans.<br /><br />The fit-again Hampshire star is frequently treated to a hot reception when he takes to the crease in the country of his birth. But ahead of the upcoming four-Test series, the 29-year-old has laughed off the verbal abuse aimed at him by Proteas fans.<br /><br />And, comparing it to the treatment Australia captain Ricky Ponting and South Africa skipper Graeme Smith receive on these shores, Pietersen believes it only serves to motivate him.<br /><br />&ldquo;Ponting gets abused in England, Smith gets it in England, I get it here; many players get it all over the world,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s something you just have to deal with, and I don&rsquo;t mind it at all. I find it quite amusing really. Of course you hear it. But some players, it gets them going. It certainly does with me.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pietersen has scored just 85 runs in five innings since returning from an Achilles injury, and admits he is struggling to rediscover top form for next week&rsquo;s first Test.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s tough when you come back after a long injury, mentally and physically,&rdquo; he added. <br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite difficult and I am finding it quite hard. But I&rsquo;m doing everything that I can to try to get myself back to where I used to be. You&rsquo;ve just got to go out there and do the hard work, which will eventually pay off.&rdquo;